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Mojave Desert Communities:

Barstow, California

Photo of downtown Barstow after sunset
Named for William Barstow Strong, the 10th president of the Santa Fe Railroad who served as such from 1881 until 1889. Since his last name was already being used in Strong City, New Mexico, and Strong City, Kansas, his middle name was used this time
Waterman Ranch in 1880
Waterman Ranch - circa 1884

A community and railroad station 56 miles north-northeast of San Bernardino. The Indian name for the area was and Angayabee. From 1864 to 1866 Abram Jacoby, a grocer, had a station here. In 1875 George L. Lee discovered what he thought was Quicksilver and he filed on it, naming the site Grapevine; this is near where the old Fort Irwin Road meets US 91. In 1880 when the railroad reached here, Grapevine was renamed Waterman Junction (for Robert W. Waterman who owned the Waterman Mine) and in 1886 the name was changed to Barstow. The Barstow post office was established on 15 May 1886 in the city incorporated in 1947. The town received telephone service in 1913. In 1925, to allow for expansion of the railroad yards, the downtown part of Barstow was moved from between the railroad tracks uphill to where it is now. In 1888 the population was 300, in 1950 it was 6,134, and in 2000 it was 21,119.
photo of Casa Del Desierto, Barstow, California
Reference - Mojave Desert Dictionary - P. Schoffstall, Mojave River Valley Museum

Freeways & Highways

Barstow Weather

Waterman Mine

Another Beneme Rancheria





Barstow Area Attractions

Heritage of the Mojave River Valley

Moving Barstow

Historic Barstow Photos

About Barstow California

Incorporated 1947
Population - 31,273
Square Miles - 36

Barstow 1890

Barstow is situated at the junction of the California Southern and the A. &. P. Railway, eighty-two miles from San Bernardino and twelve miles from Daggett. It has an elevation of 1,900 feet. The population is about 300. The town is comparatively new. The climate is dry and clear with no fogs or dampness. There is a postoffice, telegraph, telephone and express offices, and daily stage for Calico, connecting with trains, as well as several stores carrying general merchandise, and a large railroad hotel. A silver mine and mill are to be found just north of this place.
Barstow is situated at the junction of the California Southern and the A. &. P. Railway, eighty-two miles from San Bernardino and twelve miles from Daggett. It has an elevation of 1,900 feet. The population is about 300. The town is comparatively new. The climate is dry and clear with no fogs or dampness. There is a postoffice, telegraph, telephone and express offices, and daily stage for Calico, connecting with trains, as well as several stores carrying general merchandise, and a large railroad hotel. A silver mine and mill are to be found just north of this place.

History of Southern California
Lewis Publishing


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